The Aloha Spirit! A New Designee's Experience at the CPCU Society Annual Meeting
By Alexander Rosteck, CPCU, FCAS
Alexander began his insurance career as a high school intern at Guy Carpenter in NYC, and now helps to manage Allianz's Global Entertainment business. He is a member of the CPCU Society's 3iG and LA Chapter, and enjoys scuba diving and practicing guitar. Twitter: @RiskguyLAstyleMaking a quick stop at Waikiki's rich, new shopping mall after a relaxing week in Maui was a harsh and sudden transition from one reality to another. All I wanted was some noodles and a nap, but the bustle of activity reminded me that 15,000 people were in Waikiki for The Institutes CPCU Society 2016 Annual Meeting and new designee Conferment Ceremony!
Later that day, freshened up and taking the rare opportunity to wear my favorite Hawaiian shirt, I made my way to a local restaurant to meet some International Insurance Interest Group members. Three nice-looking people were walking tentatively towards the elevator -- CPCU I asked? Yes, I'm in the right place. The room filled up with international folks, some known to each other, but many not. After some introductions, I seated myself at the end of one table as delicious-smelling Hawaiian Chinese food was arriving. The aloha spirit I'd been feeling for the past few days also permeated the room here as new friends introduced themselves while I sipped my local lager. Ah, I have arrived.
CPCUs love to share their exam-taking experiences with others. Having finished the Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS) exams five years before, I missed the camaraderie of the exam process, so I was pleasantly surprised to find exam talk coming up again in an enjoyable and bonding fashion. After two years of effort and an unpleasant surprise—discovering I had one more exam to take after I completed what I thought was my last exam—it was great to share my personal experience with industry colleagues from across the United States and from other countries such as Japan, Trinidad and Tobago, and the UAE.
I also realized that my involvement with a CPCU Society interest group from the beginning was a key move. At the Conferment Ceremony dinner, I was officially branded with 3iG (International Insurance Interest Group) temporary tattoos, which were thoughtfully ideated by the very hard-working Bruce Hicks. Participating in 3iG's business meetings and eventually taking on some duties helped me to adapt to belonging in this global professional society and energized me! A colleague even made time to help me (finally!) open a Twitter account, and participate in the public discussion, echoing the thoughtful meeting session on personal brand.
The Opening Session Keynote and Conferment Speaker John Quiñones set the tone for the meeting, showcasing kindness, gratitude and ethics. As professionals, we learned that it's one thing to read and reread a code of ethics, but when push comes to shove, the images of the hidden camera Primetime series "What Would You Do?" have become a more memorable and intuitive tool of guidance.
The creativity of the meeting organizers was laudable. Also, the Closing Session Keynote Speaker Dewitt Jones inspired passion to develop my internal "life's mission" and apply it to everyday living, which is carrying me through while I write this article, a couple of weeks after the meeting.
Congratulations to my fellow new designees! It was a joy to share the CPCU Society Annual Meeting experience with such a great network of colleagues. Please share with your colleagues the opportunities and experiences that participating in the CPCU Society and the CPCU Society Annual Meeting brings! They might even instantly fall into a broad-based insurance family. After all, what I remember most fondly of my Hawaii experience is the wonderful people. Quite fittingly, the CPCUs brought aloha to match the environment we were in. Published October 14, 2016